Who is an e-bike course suitable for?

Anyone can ride a bike. This is a statement our course instructors hear from time to time. And yet, at the end of the course, the participants are amazed at how much they have learned. Three FLYER guides explain in an interview why an e-bike course is definitely worth it.

The FLYER experience offer in Huttwil includes a variety of courses designed to further develop the personal skills of e-bikers in terms of riding technique. In varied full-day or half-day courses, participants learn from experienced guides and receive tips and tricks that they can immediately put into practice on a joint tour. In an interview, our guides explain why it is worth taking part in a riding skills course or safe riding course.


Mountain e-bike riding skills training course

Dänu runs the Bikeschule-Emmental and Dominik is one of the Bikebueben. Both are Swiss Cycling-trained bike guides and have many years of experience in conducting courses. Both of them have been giving courses for mountain e-bikers as part of the FLYER experience offer for several years. In this interview, they discuss the advantages of riding skills courses for mountain e-bikers.


What can I expect from a mountain e-bike riding skills course?

Dänu: “Through targeted coaching, we refresh the basic MTB skills with the participants in a mountain e-bike (e-MTB) riding skills course and consolidate these skills. For example, we learn the ideal riding positions on the bike, how to brake safely or how to take a bend smoothly. Through the targeted exercises, participants gain confidence in themselves and their riding style. This automatically increases the fun factor on the trail and increases safety when riding. Important to know: We do all the exercises in simple terrain. This allows participants to concentrate optimally on the sequences of movement.”


Dominik adds: “The participants also get to know the e-MTB from the ground up. Particularly in the introductory courses, we also focus on correct operation. With simple exercises, we learn the most important basic skills and give lots of valuable tips.”



What riding level is the e-MTB riding skills course aimed at? Who would you recommend the course to?

Dominik: “The course is ideal for new buyers and beginners without experience with electrical assistance. If you already know your e-MTB and spend a lot of time off-road, I would recommend taking a refresher course from time to time.”


Dänu agrees: “Absolutely. Newcomers as well as bikers with many years of experience benefit from the course. Our Swiss Cycling Guides are trained to challenge and encourage the participants individually. The only exception: If you regularly practice big jumps in the bike park or take part in MTB races, it would be better to book an individual course.”




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Everyone can ride a bike: Why do you think it’s still worth attending a riding skills course?

Dänu smiles: “Because riding a bike is so much more fun than being ridden by a bike. The course will teach you how to ride actively. Even simple movements can cause your bike to suddenly move effortlessly and safely over obstacles and bends. And yes, there are also complex processes – such as cornering – that need to be practiced regularly after the course.”


Dominik continues: “Being able to ride a bicycle is of course a good basic requirement. However, handling an e-MTB is different from handling your ordinary everyday bicycle. You need to learn how to handle motor assistance. Over time, many experienced cyclists acquire some nasty habits. This may be due to a lack of understanding of the right riding skills or simply to the fact that the bikes have undergone tremendous further development in recent years. Experienced riders also experience “Aha” moments with me time and time again and benefit from my tips and tricks. The better you understand your own riding technique, the more safety and fun you will have on the road.”



What is the most common feedback from participants who have completed a riding skills course with you?

Dominik: “Many participants don’t think much about riding skills until they attend a course. Or they stop at a certain level. Participants often tell me they can better reflect on and classify their riding skills after the course. And that it’s often simple little things that you never think about yourself, that make you a better rider. It's unusual to have anyone watching your skills in everyday life. That’s why all participants are happy to receive feedback.”


Dänu cites the most common responses: 

  1. “I didn’t think I could learn so much!” 
  2. “It’s easy, but I’ve never done it that way!”
  3. “I wouldn’t have ridden down here before the course!”
  4. “It was very informative and fun!”



Only a minority of mountain e-bikers opt for a riding skills course. Why do you think that’s the case?

Dänu: “It’s quite difficult and time-consuming to get someone interested in a course. The benefits are not apparent at first glance. In order to sell courses, personal contact is very important. Guests want to make sure they can learn something and that they would be investing their time and money wisely. It is also very important to clarify the environment in which the course will take place. Many are worried they will be sent over insurmountable obstacles. Or find themselves in a wild horde of downhillers. In a personal interview, we can dispel such concerns and motivate interested parties to participate.”

Dominik confirms this observation: “For many, the mountain e-bike is not their very first bike. Very few are absolute beginners. Usually everyone has some kind of experience on a bike or they have been riding a bike since childhood. And if you’ve been doing something for so long, it’s obvious that you are proficient. My challenge is to show the guests the added value of a riding skills course.”

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What motivates you to work for safety on the trails and biking?

Dominik enthuses: “I’ve been riding a bike since I was a child. I also enjoy working with people and enjoy customer contact. So it was my dream to be able to share my passion with as many people as possible. I am very grateful that this dream has not remained a dream.”


Dänu adds: “I enjoy seeing how the participants improve massively within a course. I’m also happy to see bikers sitting properly and safely, and having fun in the saddle. I find it exciting to organize the exercises in such a way that each person is addressed individually and thus optimally supported.”



What criteria should be used to select a course provider? What do you need to be aware of?

Dänu advises: “I pay close attention to the course description; if in doubt, I ask the provider. With Swiss Cycling-certified guides, I can be sure that, in addition to good riding skills, they also have the necessary methodological and didactic skills to successfully conduct a course. An additional quality feature is the accreditation of a course by the FVS (Fund for Road Safety)."


Dominik confirms: “I would also first check whether the provider has attended the official guide training course at Swiss Cycling and is competent in the relevant field. Swiss Cycling strives to train guides at a high level. People who have never attended a course before can look for certified providers and are therefore on the safe side. Of course, education is not the only criterion. The vendor’s appearance, content and description of the offer must also appeal to me. This is because there is something extremely subjective about choosing or booking an offer.”

Thank you very much, Dänu and Dominik, for your remarks. If the two of them have whet your appetite, we look forward to your participation in one of our e-MTB riding skills courses.



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Safe riding course

René is the retired director of the TCS Training Center in Frick and works as a bus driver in addition to enjoying his retirement. In his role as head of the TCS Training Center, René was fully committed to the topic of road safety. During his tenure, for example, he recognized the need for an e-bike safe riding course and got it off the ground. He can be described as a true expert in safe e-bike riding and has many years of experience. René made a major contribution to the development of the FLYER safe riding course, had FLYER AG checked as the location of the course by the VSR (Swiss Road Safety Council) and assists us in the further training of our FLYER guides in terms of safe riding. We really appreciate being able to offer our guests courses with such a competent instructor. In this interview, René explains why, in his view, all e-bikers should take a safe riding course.


What can I expect from a safe riding course?

“A varied and eventful day in wonderful natural surroundings. And, of course, lots of input for safe e-biking.”



Who would you recommend the course to?

“Every e-bike rider who cares about safety and enjoyment, and anyone who wants to learn something new. I particularly recommend the course to people who have not ridden a bike for a while and have decided to buy an e-bike. In my opinion, it also makes sense to repeat the rules of riding in road traffic from time to time in order to enjoy riding an e-bike for as long as possible. The course is particularly suitable for people who are cautious when it comes to riding an e-bike. Some are afraid to ride on busy roads, others are afraid of gravel tracks and then there are those who are wary of steep downhill stretches. These are just a few examples of possible fears, but in the course I try to address the individual needs of the participants and use my tips to give them confidence on their e-bike.”



Everyone can ride a bike: Why do you think it’s still worth taking a safe riding course? 

René grins: “You might think so, yes. But unlike a bicycle, the e-bike has a motor, a battery and a few more control units. In order to safely handle the motor, and the associated higher speed, you need the right skills and appropriate practice. In addition, the greater weight of the e-bike and the assistance levels have an impact on the rider’s balance, something many people are unaware of. This changes starting, braking, getting off and cornering on a motorized bike. Personally, I feel it is extremely important to trust in your own riding skills, and I want to extend and consolidate that trust among all participants. The aim of the course is not only to give participants confidence on their e-bike by learning or repeating riding skills, but also to build up confidence in their own abilities. This is important if, for example, you want to enjoy riding an e-bike after an accident or even in old age.”

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What is the most common feedback from participants who have completed a riding skills course with you?


René proudly confirms: “Enthusiasm! We get lots of feedback from riders who genuinely believe that a safe riding course should be mandatory for all e-bikers. I am extremely pleased that experienced e-bike riders also get their money’s worth and say that a repetition and analysis of their own riding behavior has done them good and will give them confidence for upcoming tours.”



Why are there so few who opt for a course? Are people ashamed?


“The statement that you can ride a bike is often in the foreground. Most of them are not sufficiently aware of the risks and just assume “nothing will happen to me”.”



You are committed to safety in cycling. What motivates you to do this?


“My whole life has always revolved around the topic of road safety in one way or another. When I was young, I did triathlon and got to know racing. As a result, and as a motorcycle driving instructor, I came across the topic of e-bikes. Together with FLYER and the Road Safety Council (VSR), I developed the safe riding courses that can be taken at FLYER today. What’s more, after all these years, I still relish being able to see how the participants improve their riding skills. If I have been able to motivate the participants through the course, inspire them and give them confidence in their own riding style, and they walk out of the course with a smile, I experience a tingling sensation.”



What criteria should be used to select a course provider? What do you need to be aware of?


“For me, my whole life is about continuing education. For example, I would check whether the course provider employs qualified instructors who have the appropriate background in further training and experience on the topic. I would also check whether the course provider is certified, e.g. in accordance with VSR or fvs.”

Thank you for your comments, dear René. Anyone who can hardly wait to learn more about riding safety from René can register here for the safe riding courses in Huttwil. We look forward to seeing you.



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by Farah Scheidegger
10 March 2023